Majlis Factions Positive on Proposed Cabinet Lineup

Majlis Factions Positive on Proposed Cabinet Lineup

The three factions in the Iranian Parliament, which are checking the credentials of would-be ministers, are mostly positive about President Hassan Rouhani's choices for his second administration.
The reelected president, who took the oath of office in a high-profile ceremony on August 5, unveiled his list of Cabinet picks for all but one of the 18 ministerial seats on Tuesday.
The remaining nominee, for the position of science minister, is expected to be announced today.
These days, Rouhani's picks are going back and forth to Majlis to outline their plans of action before the legislature starts giving confidence votes.
On Saturday, the principlist, reformist and independent factions, none of which commands a definitive majority in the 290-member assembly, hosted a couple of nominees lobbying for their approval by the lawmakers, IRNA reported.
Behrouz Nemati, a high-ranking member of the independent faction, said on Saturday the faction is supportive of Rouhani's choices.
"In line with his attitude, Rouhani's proposed ministers are all moderate people, whether reformist, principlist or independent," he said.
"It is good to use the capacity of all forces in the government. It makes it possible for the president to employ elite and expert managers, which we have always asked for."
Bahram Parsaei, the spokesman of reformist faction, said the proposed Cabinet on the whole seems capable, although he believes the president had better options for some ministerial seats.
Referring to the extensive support reformists lent to Rouhani during his electoral campaign, Parsaei said the faction expects him to heed their objections regarding some choices.
The lawmaker also lamented the absence of women in the Cabinet lineup.
"In our view, most Cabinet nominees will be able to become ministers, but two or three lack enough support," he said without naming any candidate.

***Meritocracy Observed
Even Akbar Ranjbarzadeh, a senior member of the principlist bloc that includes political opponents of Rouhani, praised the selection, saying it is based on expertise, not political persuasions.
"The capacity and performance of the nominees is satisfying and we believe the lineup is acceptable," he said.
Rouhani had vowed to form an "inclusive" Cabinet.
Before his oath-taking ceremony, Rouhani engaged in wide consultations with parliamentary factions to build consensus over his nominees.
Keeping roughly half of his first Cabinet members, particularly those in charge of key ministries of foreign affairs and oil, suggested that Rouhani will continue with policies that center on broadening Iran's international engagement.
The nominees will start appearing before parliament to defend their records and plans in the hope of securing confirmation votes on Tuesday.
The sessions are expected to last until next Sunday.
Rouhani's job to form his second Cabinet is easier than the first, as the current Majlis is considered more amiable toward the government than the previous principlist-dominated Majlis.

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